My dad is out of the hospital with his leg intact; thank you for the prayers and support. Here are the rest of those Italy pictures.
Our trip to Italy actually began and ended in Rome. But before I jump into the pictures, I need to tell you about the Jersey Boys’ revolutionary philosophy, the One Punch Rule.
Basically, the One Punch Rule would give men permission to punch a woman in the face. But just one woman, one time. Then you would have to register with the government and cash in your One Punch.
It makes sense, when you think about it. Women can be pretty low sometimes. So if your special lady decides to gamble away your money, cheat on you with your best friend, etc., you could (by law) give her a good one right in the kisser. Jen and I thought this was hysterical and were not offended at all. * Some actions deserve a punch in the face, and speaking from experience, punching a girl in the face when she deserves it feels intoxicating.
The reason I’m telling you this is because as our plane was taking off on the way to Rome, we hit some turbulence and the plane was shaking to a terrifying degree. I did what I normally do: close my eyes, grip the armrests and cry on the inside.
Ray, however, turned to Jen and said, “Jen – I think you’re awesome… you’re like the coolest girl I’ve ever met… but if this plane goes down, I’m using my One Punch on you. I have to do the One Punch before I die. I’m sorry.”
Okay so, Rome. One of the first things we did was visit the Vatican.
And guess what we had the audacity to do? You guessed it: climb to the top.
That dome part at the top doesn’t exactly even out in the inside… you have to bend yourself sideways like a V-8 commercial for about 3 flights of stairs, with teeny little holes in the wall for breathing. I literally passed two people having almost-heart attacks.
The Vatican was nice enough to install an elevator at the very top. All around the edge of the roof were statues of various saints. The space in front of the elevator, however, was empty. We convinced Frank to go stand in it, and naturally he was doing this:
… right when an elevator full of hardcore Catholics arrived at the roof. Serious stinkeyes all around.
After that, we had the pleasure of participating in the shittiest walking tour that Italy has to offer. This Brazilian guy named Paolo promised to take us around teach us about Rome.
However, Paolo had trouble speaking both English and Italian. He also brought his girlfriend with us and talked to her the whole time. So basically, we all paid eighteen bucks (or 8 billion lire) to tag along on Paolo’s date.
We did see a few cool things, including the Mouth of Truth. Supposedly if you think of a lie and stick your hand in, the mouth will bite you. I bragged to everyone that I thought of a lie, but honestly I was too scared.
Here is some stuff (I was too pissed at Paolo to pay attention):
The breaking point for our tour, however, came when we arrived at the Coliseum. First Jen and I had to deal with various obscene come-ons from the fake Roman guards, who apparently spend their entire day chain-smoking and whistling at chicks.
So Paolo stopped in front of the Coliseum and started telling us about it.
“Aren’t we going to go in?” we asked.
“No no no, I can tell you everything from out here,” Paolo said, fumbling through a tour book. “Okay. Have you ever seen the movie Gladiator?”
I think Ray flat-out walked away at that point. Later we came back by ourselves and went inside.
I hate to be a buzzkill, but it was smaller than I imagined it would be. We ended up sitting at the top for a while to eat PB&Js.
And what did we discuss while sitting in one of the greatest landmarks in the entire world?
Truckasaurus vs. Robosaurus. Obviously.
Up next, we went to Capri.
Ask Frank how that went.
So after Venice, Florence and Sienna, we came back to Rome for the flight home. We ended up stopping at a few more cool spots, like the Trevi Fountain. This is where tourists come to throw in a coin and make a wish. I have some pictures of us but they turned out pretty butt-ugly. So here is a postcard:
Another site that you will only see a postcard of is the Sistine Chapel. It is pretty tacky and gaudy. Like the statue of David, we were not allowed to take pictures. Unlike the statue of David, they had more than one tour guide enforcing this rule. I got a crick in my neck staring at these dudes:
That was one of those moments where I tried as hard as possible to absorb the memory. I mean, I still can’t believe I was there.
One memory I don’t have a picture or postcard of, but will always cherish, is the smoking porch of our hostel. I was the only smoker in our group so I spent a lot of time sitting around with strangers.
One night I sat at the little card table with an English girl, a Scottish girl, a Canadian girl, a Kiwi lady and a gay Frenchmen, and we all traded stories about date-rapey Italian men.
I believe our last night was when we went to the Piazza de Spagna. This was another one of those spots where Europeans go to just lay around, play the guitar and drink wine.
We mostly talked to our Kiwi buddies and the guy who played “Wonderwall” on the guitar, but I have to say it’s the best party I’ve ever been to and I can’t believe Romans get to do it every day.
When in Rome, indeed.
* My ex-boyfriend told me that after this conversation, Frank told him I was “too cute to punch in the face.” I honestly can’t think of a better compliment. Thanks Frank! 😉